Don't let Baldwin's disheveled and confused look on the cover of this book fool you - he remains, to this day, to be one of the few authors able to address America's original sin (racism) in such a succinct and challenging way. Although written in 1963, these short essays are applicable to our current situation. Whether you've thought about issues of racial justice for a long time or a short time, (or "a minute" as the kids say) this book is a must have.
The premise is as misleading as it is wacky; but beneath the surface, this series of philosophical essays represents nature writing of the highest order: probing, intellectual, alert, funny, and astonishing. His tone is blithe, his style loose and poetic. He doesn't write sentences so much as created little idea nests.
It's not for everyone - just someone a little eccentric, and full of wonder.
As part of the Why I Write lecture series, the legendary New York musician and author shares a short but engaging story she wrote while traveling by train. The story itself is book ended by the different authors of the past, as well as the current surroundings that inspire her writing (including a personal visit to the room where Camus wrote.) A minute but moving must for any fan of Smith's writing.
"Teach the children...stand them in the stream, head them upstream, rejoice as they learn to love this green space they live in, its sticks and leaves and then the silent, beautiful blossoms. Attention is the beginning of devotion." Mary Oliver is the only writer that makes me second-guess killing any rogue spider that comes near me, because her reverence for nature is more than mere observation - her writing becomes a spiritual experience in these essays.
Like a Romantic Larry David, Geoff Dyer travels from Tahiti to the Arctic Circle, meeting humiliation and disappointment on his quest for the Sublime.
Part-treatise, part-memoir of a troubled marriage, what begins as a philosophical exploration of the nature and purpose of hotels takes in home, love, marital politics, madness and the Marx Brothers in a witty and insightful stream of associations.